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An American Tale 2: ‘lacks the best qualities of its predecessor‘

An American Tale 2: Pierre! Goes West (U) (Simon Wells/Phil tlibbelinir, 011/118, 1991) With the voices at Phillip Giasser, James Stewart, Dom DeLulse, John Cleese. 75 mins. Despite its magnillcent initial guniight sequence, this sequel seems to lack all the better qualities 01 its predecessor while trying to rework the same lilm - mice journey to another land in search oi lreedom. Gone are the marauding Russian cats, the stonn-laden voyage and the beautifully orchestrated emotional iinaie; In their place are a ieline gang lead by the smooth-talking con Cat R. Waul (poor competition lor the Russians, even with a brilliantly comic voice traclr by John Cieese), a comparatively uneventful train ioumey to the Old West, and (just to prove things aren’t all bad) a genuinely entertaining ending.

The vocal casting ol James Stewart as Sherill Wylie Burp recalls countless other roles in live-action westerns, but also highlights the major problem here - namely that Steven Spielberg has wrested creative control lrom the

original American Tale’s animator/director Don Blulh without securing an adequate replacement. Co-directors Wells and Nibbeiink certainly aren't up to it— although the farmer’s time spent under Richard (Roger Rabbit) Williams may well account iorthe bravura execution at the alorementloned opening shoot-out.

Also on the plus side are episodes with Flevel’s iriend Tiger, the vegetarian cat, stumbling upon some Indians as memorable as their counterparts in Disney’s Peter Pan and the two iriends separately lost in the desert. Butwhiie memorable voice renditions reliect well on Cleese and Stewart, the fact that this element is the single best thing in An American Tale 2 bodes ill in the extreme lor all its other aspects. (Jeremy Clarke)

From 13 Dec: Glasgow: Cannon The Forge, Cannon Sauchiehali Street. Edinburgh: Cannon, Dominion, UCI. Central: Cannon. Strathciyde: Cannon, Keibume, UCI Clydebanlr, UCI East Kilbride.

I The Clouded Yellow (U) (Ralph Thomas, UK, 1946) Trevor Howard, Jean Simmons, Barry Jones, Sonia Dresdel. 96 mins. Engaging thriller in Hitchcock mould centring on a sacked secret service agent whose job tending a butterfly collection causes him to be caught up in a murder plot. Memorable for a wonderful performance by Simmons as the deranged woman who is the main suspect and fora suspenseful climactic chase across the Lake District. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

I The Commitments (15) (Alan Parker, UK, 1991) Robert Arkins, Michael Aherne, Angeline Ball, Maria Doyle. 118 mins. Sod U2 - when would-be manager Jimmy Rabbitte (Arkins) puts together

The Commitments, soul comes to Dublin and the band become the force to really put Irish music on the map. Alan Parker delivers a hilarious, down~to-earth, close-to-home movie, stuffed full of good music and with some relevent social comment to boot. Easily one of the films of the year. General release.

I Cyrano De Bergerac (U) (Jean-Paul Rappcneau, France, 1990) Gerard Depardieu, Jacques Weber, Anne Brochet, Vincent Perez. 135 mins. A stirring adaptation of Rostand’s classic, romantic tragi-comedy. Full of grandly

18 The List6-19 December 1991

mounted. bustling crowd scenes (Ezio Frigerio and Franca Squarciapino won a Felix for their production design), it revolves around typically superb performance from Depardieu as the large-nosed hero. Although performed in rhyming verse throughout (with somewhat dodgy subtitles by Anthony Burgess), and a touch overlong, the film‘s dramatic and cinematic qualities are outstanding. Glasgow: GFT.

I Dead Again ( 15) (Kenneth Branagh. US, 1991) Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thomson, Andy Garcia. 10! mins. A notable shift away from the Bard for the golden boy of British theatre in his first Hollywood outing. Branagh plays cynical, Los Angeles-based private detective Mike Church, an expert at tracing heirs and missing persons. His latest case involves discovering the identity of a beautiful young woman who has no memory of her own, but relives the nightmares ofa murdered woman. Old-fashioned Hitchcockian thriller, carried offwith much style. General release.

I Dive (15) (Jean-Jacques Beineix. France, 1981 ) Frederic Andrei, Roland Bertin, Richard Bohringer. 117 mins. The twisted fate of two tapes, one an illegal recording of an American opera star. the

other exposing a crime ring, is the central strand of this daffy Gallic cult favourite. Style exudes from every sprocket hole. Glasgow: GFT.

I Doc Hollywood (12) (Michael Caton-Jones. US, 1991) Michael J. Fox, Julie Warner, Bridget Fonda, Frances Sternhagen. Barnard Hughes. 104 mins. On his way to an obscenely lucrative position as a LA plastic surgeon, smug doctor Ben Stone (Fox) misses the interstate exit and ends up in mythical small-town America where he is sentenced to eighteen hours community service for demolishing the local judge‘s fence. Good natured humour and tentative romance keep the movie bubbling along, but despite Fox‘s talents as a light comedy actor, he doesn‘t quite pull this one off. Strathciyde: UCI East Kilbride.

I Drop Dead Fred (12) (Ate de Jong, US, 1991) Rik Mayall. Phoebe Cares, Marsha Mason. Carrie Fisher. 99 mins. When she isn’t seeing Gremlins. it seems that Ms Cates is conjuring up her imaginary childhood friend Drop Dead Fred (Mayall in his Stateside debut) despite the fact that she's now well into adulthood. Puerilc comedy that fails to be enlivened even by Mayall‘s manic performance. General release.

I Easy Rider ( 18) (Dennis Hopper. US. 1969) Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson. 94 mins. Artless. archetypal road movie in which two dope-loving bikers travel the highways and by-ways of America. Dated cult attraction with Nicholson stealing the show as a boozy lawyer persuaded to join up for the trip. Glasgow: GET.

I Edward Scissorhands (PG) (Tim Burton. US. 1991) Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Vincent Price. 105 mins. Burton follows up the excesses of Batman with this fairy tale for the 905. which works as a welcome return to the darker side of the genre. Depp is the unfinished creation of The Inventor (Price). who lives alone in a crumbling mansion, unable to even scratch his nose without needing stitches. Discoverd by a friendly Avon lady. his talent for coiffure and topiary makes him a neighbourhood favourite until tragedy strikes. Beautifully shot. tenderly acted and full of hidden depths. Glasgow: GF'T. Edinburgh: Cameo. Central: Allanpark. All UCls.

I Enchanted April (U) (Mike Newell. UK. 1991) Josie Lawrence, Miranda Richardson, Polly Walker, Joan Plowright, Alfred Molina. 95 mins. See review. Glasgow: Odeon. Edinburgh: Cameo. (Week 2).

I Fantasia (U) (Ben Sharpsteen, US. 1940) The voice of Deems Taylor; music played by the Philadelphia Orchestra. conducted by Leopold Stokowski. 135 mins. Fully restored to mark its 50th anniversary. Walt Disney‘s semi-abstract feature remains a unique and astonishing achievement. Almost equally lauded and loathed, it contains some visually stunning material as well as some rather embarrassing kitsch, but surely the most memorable sequence is The Sorcerer's Apprentice starring Mickey Mouse (endowed for the first time with pupils instead of button eyes). Central: MacRobert Arts Centre.

I Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (18) (Russ Meyer, US, 1966)Turana Satana.83 mins. Three go-go dancers release their tensions by driving sportscars through the desert and behaving aggressively towards men. Classic Meyer cult-trash. Glasgow: GFT.

I The Fisher King ( 15) (Terry Gilliam. US. 1991) Robin Williams, JeffBridges. Amanda Plummer, Mercedes Ruchl. 137 mins. A suicidal former radio DJ (Bridges) and a drop-out former professor of medieval history go in search ofthe Holy Grail in contemporary New York. The visual splendour of Gilliam's previous movies— Time Bandits and Baron Munchausen - is more restrained here, but